OPINION: Are you still in school, or have you grown up?

Are you still in school or have you grown up?
"There are two types of people who left school. Those who have continually developed and evolved, being unrecognisable to the previous year's version due to progression. Not only in terms of look but, more importantly, mindset and train of thought. Then there is the other group, who still resonate deeply with their high school days and youthful selves even though life has moved on."

The bell rings, you and your mates slowly begin to shuffle to your next class, everyone joking, the chatter of exciting weekend plans filling the air. High school was the first place where we found ourselves. Some developed strange individual characters. Some became popular. Some given nicknames based on a random event. And some lived in their books. 

For the most part, this assortment of souls matriculated and went onto establish careers, study, travel the world, and start families. But when looking at social behaviour, how many left the playground? How many adults are still trapped in the past, in a place where life was easy? But most importantly, how many of us stopped developing our personalities, outlooks and characters, dooming our lives to a tricky existence? 

There are two types of people who left school. Those who have continually developed and evolved, being unrecognisable to the previous year’s version due to progression. Not only in terms of look but, more importantly, mindset and train of thought. Then there is the other group, who still resonate deeply with their high school days and youthful selves even though life has moved on.

Focussing on the second group, being way more extensive than the first group, we need to take the following into account: Batesian Mimic Problem. Which, in short, states, either you are a success, or you are a copy of one.

People who leave school pursuing success in various forms will hold an array of specific characteristics such as the ability to be open-minded, willingness to change and the acceptance that failure is par for the course. However, even though they might believe they are, people from the second group are not open-minded and battle to change, despite the fact, they believe the opposite is true of them.

And when taking a look at a philosophical idea—”solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind.” Yes, this can be taken to extremes, but when looking at the second group of people, self-creation and character solidification, with rebellion or rage against anything or anyone who does not fit into their created reality, is a feature. 

For example, Gloria is 38 years old, been married since 23 and has two children. She lives on social media, treating it like a speaker for her life. Her school friend/s are still her closest allies, and they spend much of their time with one another, even now with families and jobs. Gloria, like in school, still feels the need to be acknowledged by everyone around her, yet seeks it through strange places like her children’s lives and school. 

She has a pathological need to show off. Gloria and her friends speak about other people all the time, running them down for minor things without any second thought, believing still that she is a good person. Gloria hardly ever sees the positive in a situation, person, challenge or place unless everything is centred around her ideologies. Last but not least, Gloria believes she knows a lot and is never wrong, yet never commits to furthering her knowledge base and way of thinking. She makes the same mistakes repeatedly and is more than likely religious, being ironic based on her behaviour. 

The volume of psychological literature explaining this form of behaviour is overwhelming, yet why do people still fall into this category? This is not the nineteenth century where knowledge was limited. According to FS.blog and in conclusion, “Successful people tend to approach life with an open mindset — an eagerness to learn and a willingness to be wrong. The other group digs their heels in at the first sign of disagreement and would rather die than be wrong. It turns out, the way each group approaches obstacles defines much of what separates them.”

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